State Your Beauty

Our classes usually pop-up whenever we least expect them, and this really is what happened if you ask me one August day in 2005. I’d spent your day facilitating an in Vancouver with two colleagues, Lee and Doreen. At the end of the first day, the three folks went to dinner to discuss course events and arrange for the following day. Naturally the talk moved to the individual lives. Because I’m simple, Doreen asked how I was doing in the relationship department. I said that I’d recently enlisted the services of a matchmaking company.”The thing is, I do not like writing my own profile,” I mentioned. “The taste profiles I saw all started with, ‘I am beautiful, I am beautiful.’.. and I was recommended to follow this strategy because men often use look as a vital aspect in choosing days. But saying ‘I’m beautiful’ is also in-your-face for me.””It is not that I believe I am ugly,” I responded. “I just don’t look at myself as beautiful. I’m actually uneasy writing, ‘I am an attractive woman .’ “Doreen looked right at me, eyes fixed on mine, and reported, “Margaret, you’ve to claim your beauty”! I started to squirm. And then I did what I usually do when I don’t like where the conversation is certainly going – I changed the subject.Over another three days, my mind kept drifting right back to Doreen’s assertive statement: “Margaret, you’ve to declare your beauty.” She was right, of course. Why was I so reluctant to remain true and admit my own, personal beauty? Why did the concept of it make me uncomfortable?The more I thought about it, the more I understood that a lot of women have the same way. More frequently than not, women are far more relaxed recognizing inner beauty (intelligence, talents, graciousness, generosity, etc.) than their looks. Somewhere as you go along, we learned that it is wrong to “judge people by their appearance,” and we’ve taken that lesson one step too far – questioning our physical beauty. We are actually reluctant to recognize yet another woman’s beauty. Somehow, this seems inherently wrong.On the last day of the workshop, I was given the job of keeping time and marking things while Doreen and Lee each light emitting diode an organization. I listened and kept entirely current, shifting my attention from one class to the other, and then suddenly I discovered her. There she was – over the room, looking definitely radiant.It was a few moments before I noticed the person who looked so gorgeous was me. Yes, me. I had glimpsed myself in the mirrored panel of a piece of furniture halfway involving the two groups. And I saw myself as beautiful.I couldn’t wait to talk about that discovery with Doreen. When I told her, she was happy with my news. She hugged me and held me tightly. I said my goodbyes to her and Lee, and I was glowing as I left for my meal engagement.I reached the restaurant to meet a friend who I’d not observed in months. Her first comment was, “You appear absolutely wonderful”! Twice more through dinner, she said, “I can not think how wonderful you look”. I beamed also more.During my ferry ride home that night, I sat in silence and marveled at the pleasure working through my veins. That night, I dropped right into a deep, satisfied sleep that I had not experienced for years. When I awoke with sunlight streaming in to my place, I knew the world was good. I jumped up, showered, sang and danced while blow-drying my hair.Later that morning, Patricia showed up for an appointment. She stepped in and started talking. Halfway through her first sentence, she stopped, looked directly at me and asked, “Did you get a haircut”? I replied, “No.”She continued talking as we walked to my kitchen. Whenever we got there, she asked, “Did you drop weight”? I replied, “No.”She kept talking but suddenly stopped and looked at me more intently. Then she said, “Well, whatever you are doing, don’t stop. You look absolutely terrific”. Patricia’s reviews designed my life like cherries along with a sundae. A smile crossed my face – you understand, some of those laughs that go from ear to ear and nearly hurt… the kind of smile you give when you are in love.I had like to say that euphoric feeling has lasted even to this very day, but I’ve to admit that it’s passed, just like being in love may diminish. Why? Maybe it is because everytime we try the mirror, we always check for defects. We ask: Will there be something found between my teeth? Is my hair in position? Can there be any lipstick left on my lips? Are my teeth bright enough? Are there wayward locks above my lip? The human objective, it’d seem, is to seek weaknesses and flush out imperfections. Obviously, if that is what we are trying to find, that is what we see. That’s why we’ve to help keep our attention on our beauty, the wonder that normally radiates from each and every one of us.From that time forward, I promised to see a whole lot more than my defects. Now when I try the mirror, I wink at myself and say, “Margaret, you’re beautiful.”Not only does this help me appreciate my own, personal radiance, but it also helps me appreciate the beauty of other women as well. Five years ago I would have felt uncomfortable showing a lady, “You are beautiful”! But now it just moves out of me, a real and honest expression of appreciation. Isn’t that beautiful?5 Approaches to Claim Your Beauty:1. When you receive a compliment, graciously accept it and “take it in.”Do not avoid it, don’t argue with it, deflect it or bounce it back to the person who gave it. Take a deep breath and enjoy it. Smile and say thank you!Loretta LaRoche, a humorist and anxiety management specialist, points out that many of our interactions derive from bad talk. As an example, every person tries to “out do” one other in showing their overwhelm. “I am so busy,” one may say. The other responses, “You believe that was terrible. Well, I’d to…”. Avoid this temptation. Alternatively, celebrate each other with compliments. It thinks so much better.2. Produce a brag book, a store of compliments.In her book Make a Name on Your Own, model strategist Robin Fisher Roffer proposes creating a brag book. That binder or journal includes a collection of the great compliments people give you. Rereading these acknowledgments may give you a boost of confidence when you’re confronted with a hard task.One way to begin this technique is always to contact 20 people and ask them to talk about three things they see in you. That takes courage, but I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what comes back.I have been gathering and producing compliments for months, and it really does change lives. Rather than sweeping compliments under the carpet in my rush through life, it causes me to honor what people see in me. My internal critic no longer rules the day. This book also encourages me to give compliments more often.3. Whenever you try the mirror, break the behavior of checking for defects. Alternatively, wink! Say anything free. Then blow yourself a hug and say, “I am beautiful!”While this might seem ridiculous or self indulgent in the beginning, it will reduce your spirits and tell you to give attention to your beauty. Try it – it works!4. Let the mirror inform you to just “be” beautiful.Our lives are so full of “doing” that people rarely take time to savor “being” by acknowledging our very own beauty. So the next time you receive ready for the afternoon, recording a note or write entirely on your mirror: “I am beautiful”. Because you are.If that is difficult for you, I encourage you to spend 20-30 minutes with the mirror, looking for only your positive attributes. It may be as simple as recognizing the beautiful bend of your neck, the form of your eyes, or the way you tip your head when you’re thinking about anything. This exercise is a quick way to produce a big change in the way you see yourself.5. Be strong enough to recognize another woman’s beauty. We see ourselves so often that we tend to lose perspective. Go ahead, inspire another woman by telling her how attractive she seems. It will give you both a lift.

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